Recipe may contain gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and fish.
Let Matt Preston show you how to slow cook whole chicken for the crispiest-ever skin and juicy, flavour-packed meat.
1.5 kg whole chicken (ask your butcher for a nice, fat bird)
1/4 cup (60ml) rice malt syrup
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
4 red shallots, peeled, finely chopped
6cm knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 whole star anise
2 1/2 cups (500g) long grain rice
4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
Sesame oil, to drizzle
2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways then sliced diagonally, to serve
Coriander sprigs, to serve
chinese-style red chilli sauce
20 long red chillies, deseeded
3cm knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup (60ml) white vinegar
1 tbsp white sugar
Sea salt, to season
1/4 cup (60ml) peanut or vegetable oil
5cm knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
11 Method Steps
Step 1Remove any fatty pieces of chicken(1.5 kg whole chicken (ask your butcher for a nice, fat bird)) just inside the cavity and place them in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until needed.
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Step 2Combine the malt syrup (1/4 cup (60ml) rice malt syrup), rice wine (2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry) and soy sauce (2 tbsp dark soy sauce) in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Cover and place in the fridge, turning once, for 3 hours or longer if time permits.
Step 3Drain the chicken well from the marinade. Place on a plate in the fridge uncovered for at least 6 hours, or overnight if you like. (This dries out the skin, making it crispy.) Discard the marinade.
Step 4Before you start cooking the chicken, make the red chilli (20 long red chillies, deseeded) sauce. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until well combined. Adjust the seasoning with a bit more vinegar, sugar and ginger if you like. Season with salt. Set aside.
Step 5Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan forced). Remove all but the bottom rack of the oven. Remove the chook from the fridge and set aside for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
Step 6Heat the reserved chicken fat in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish (that is larger than the chicken across the top) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the fat renders down to an oil. Remove any leftover fat that hasn’t dissolved. If you don’t have much oil in the base of your pan, add a touch of vegetable oil (1/4 cup (60ml) peanut or vegetable oil).
Step 7Add the shallot (4 red shallots, peeled, finely chopped), ginger (6cm knob ginger, peeled and thinly sliced), garlic (3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced) and star anise (3 whole star anise) to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the rice (2 1/2 cups (500g) long grain rice) and cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes to toast the rice and until things start smelling rather aromatic. Add the stock (4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock) and stir to combine. Bring just to the boil.
Step 8Place the casserole dish in the oven and place an oiled oven rack over the top of the pot. Lay the chicken breast-side down on the rack, so any juices will drip into the pot as it cooks. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 160C (140C fan forced). Roast for a further for 30 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and it has a dry crust on top.
Step 9Transfer the chicken and the rack to a baking tray and turn the chicken over. Use foil to cover any of the wing tips or leg ends that are already golden. Cover the rice with a lid and set aside to keep warm. Return the chicken to the oven and roast for a further 45-55 minutes or until cooked though and golden. When cooked, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover loosely with foil for 5 minutes to rest. Reserve any fat and juices from the baking tray.
Step 10Meanwhile, make the spring-onion oil. Heat the oil (1/4 cup (60ml) peanut or vegetable oil) in a small saucepan until just smoking. Add the ginger and (5cm knob ginger, peeled and finely grated) spring onion (1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced), then remove from the heat. Stir through the soy (1 tsp soy sauce), vinegar (1/4 tsp white vinegar) and salt (1/2 teaspoon sea salt).
Step 11Pour any fat juices and drippings from the chicken resting plate or reserved from the baking tray over the rice and use a fork to fluff the grains. Cut the chicken into portions and place on top of the rice. Drizzle with sesame oil. Top with the cucumber (2 Lebanese cucumbers, halved lengthways then sliced diagonally, to serve) and coriander (Coriander sprigs, to serve). Serve with the chilli sauce and spring-onion oil.